Smart Farming, the voluntary cost saving initiative led by IFA, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin its 2018 work programme in April, identifying ways to improve farm returns and enhance the environment.
In 2018, more than 1,200 farmers across 50 discussion groups, IFA branches and purchasing groups will get involved in Smart Farming. The objectives are clear: to find ways to reduce costs on each participating farm by at least €5,000 and how to reduce climate impact by 10%.
Launching the 2018 Smart Farming programme, IFA President Joe Healy said, “Smart Farming works; it is making a difference to the bottom line, which then leads to positive impacts on the wider countryside. I am delighted to see so many farmers continuing to play their part in a tangible way to enhance the rural environment and improve their own returns.”
Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment commended the leadership provided by IFA and the collaboration with the EPA, “Smart Farming is making a real difference for farm families, their communities and the wider environment. This success is underpinned by the leadership provided by IFA, collaboration with the EPA and expertise provided by Teagasc, University College Dublin, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and others.”
EPA Director General Laura Burke emphasised the need for a greater sense of urgency in making the transition from a society and economy dependent on fossil fuels and the wasteful consumption of natural resources. In this regard she said, “The Smart Farming programme is an example of practical leadership in this transition and is resulting in the realisaton of tangible gains for the environment, health and the local economy with lasting impacts on farm returns.”